Updated: Sep 3
When I first started using Instagram, I knew I wanted to do social media to promote my writing. Not necessarily because I knew what I was doing, but just because I had read somewhere that it was a good thing for writers to do.
Up until that point, I hadn’t really been involved in social media. Sure, I was on Facebook but . . . who in my generation wasn’t?
I thought it would be a professional social media account. I went in with an open mind, aiming to get more readers, and go from there. I wasn’t sure what else I would find.
It turns out, I found Star Trek.
Lots, and lots . . . and lots of Star Trek.
It was only a matter of time before I made an Instagram page dedicated to Star Trek. But where was the fun in just making a general account?
I basically called dibs on making a Gul Dukat role playing account.
For those of you who don’t know Gul Dukat, this is him:
Star Trek DS9 fans will probably recognise him as one of the (if not THE) best villains in the Star Trek franchise. Emotionally complex, great story arc, charismatic . . . the villain has the whole villain package!
Non-DS9 fans should know he’s basically a handsome space Nazi lizard-man.
He’s also super fun to role play with the Instagram account.
After a few months, I have some reflections on creating this account, and how it differs from a professional account, or even a personal account. Star Trek accounts are so much different, and so wonderful.
Any actor will tell you that it’s super fun to play someone you’re not. Obviously, I’m not Gul Dukat. Not even close. But let me tell you—it’s fun to try and think like him, and make posts that are quirky and fun.
I also love the character, and Star Trek Deep Space 9. Sometimes I joke that this account is so much work, oh no, I need to look up pictures of Gul Dukat (FYI: this is actually super fun for me). Looking up pictures, making memes, writing captions . . . it’s fun. I enjoy doing it. Sure, I love writing, but there’s something different about this. It’s not work. It’s just . . . plain fun.
HE’S MORE POPULAR THAN I AM
Within a week, I had gotten more followers on the Star Trek account than I had in my writing account (active for months), and with my personal account (activated the same day).
That’s not even taking into account likes. Starting out with Dukat memes and pictures was like a drug. The least amount of likes I would get on a post was 60 likes.
My writing posts NEVER got that much (not even close). My personal ones were better.
Every post I post on the Star Trek account gets so many likes. Like, it’s a high to post and have my phone blow up.
But it’s also a little disorienting and strange. I’m not sure what to think about it. But until I figure it out, I’m going to keep going forward and just enjoy!
MEETING PEOPLE IS EASY
It’s a Star Trek account. We already have the opening line, and the one thing we will talk about in depth for hours.
Within a week of making the account, I was in a group chat with other Star Trek role players. Garak. Bashir. Lwaxana. Damar. Quark. Odo.
It was way too much fun talking Trek with them. Still is. And you know what? They’re not the only ones I’ve met. I’ve also met artists, zumba instructors, and other writers through the Instagram Star Trek community.
Meeting people and talking . . . it's easy, and that makes the experience so much more fun! It also lays another layer to loving Star Trek.
So, Dukat is basically a handsome space Nazi lizard man.
He was prefect of an occupied planet. He doesn’t admit he’s done anything wrong. He’s done a lot of bad stuff.
I feel like I’m walking a really thin line with this account. After all, it’s so much fun to play him . . . but the challenge is how to play him without making it seem like I’m endorsing his actions.
I try to do a few different things. For example, I play him as a character learning to do better. I make self deprecating humour. I also ask . . . how can I realistically make him a good(er) person.
But, most importantly, I tell myself this key fact: Star Trek DS9 would have been nothing if Gul Dukat weren't such a great villain. Villains are so important to a story, and by being a villain Dukat added so much to this universe. We can celebrate villains without endorsing their actions—and a villain like Dukat deserves much celebration.
A hero is only as good as the villain they have to overcome.
So, with every post I’m trying to think . . . how can I have fun with this character, without going into problematic territory?
It's a tightrope, but one I have a lot of fun walking.
This post is to celebrate 100 posts on Instagram. What a fun ride! I’m looking forward to the next 100 posts and hope you all are, too!